A few weeks ago I was listening to an interview of Patrick McKenzie on the Bootrapped.fm podcast, and heard my name being mentioned.

Andrey (one of the hosts) mentions that he was reading my blog and found that I made launching and growing Bidsketch sound easy:

“It’s kind of like, ‘I announced it on Twitter, now I’m in beta and the beta is 600 users. Now I’m out of beta and it’s three months in, and I’m making $1,000 a month.’

This has been the experience of reading blog posts about how to launch a SaaS app, but this has never been my experience of launching a product.

So I went back through my old blog posts and read through them. Sure enough, reading through those posts it sounds like I had no trouble launching and growing my first real product.

But it wasn’t easy; it took a ton of work and I almost quit a few times.

So I’ve decided to write about how many times I failed to get traction, or almost gave up, on the way to my first $1,000.
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Getting useful cancellation feedback from customers is tough.

The problem is that once people have canceled, they’re no longer engaged and will rarely spend the time to give you feedback. One of the best things I’ve ever done to combat this with Bidsketch was to add a mandatory freeform text field that says:

Please help us improve by stating the reason (Required)

Sure, some people enter blank spaces or random characters, but the majority make an effort to say something semi-useful.  A small percentage will write truly useful comments that can lead to some sort of action.

To analyze the data I import the comments into a Google spreadsheet and add a few columns to help me segment them. [click to continue…]

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Hiring High Quality Developers on a Bootstrapper’s Budget

Most of the info you’ll find on hiring is meant for large companies or startups with funding. What if you’re bootstrapping? While you’re not going to be competing with Google or Facebook for the same people, you still want developers that can do high quality work to help build your product. The post that follows […]

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What I Learned From Increasing My Prices

Last month Bidsketch had the biggest increase in revenue it’s ever had. Before that, the biggest increase in revenue came when FreshBooks emailed a million people and mentioned Bidsketch as a new integration. I got so many new sales notifications that day, I thought someone had hacked my server. It was nuts. Last month’s increase […]

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How’d I Grow Revenue 3x in 2011?

So I decided to check out how most of my growth in 2011 happened. I was looking for anything that lead to an increase in signups, traffic or revenue. The blue line is traffic and the pink is revenue: Note: Graph from DigMyData.com One thing that jumps out is that revenue growth was been strangely […]

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